HM Land Registry
What is the HM Land Registry?
Updated August 2, 2021
HM Land Registry is a U.K. government department that holds ownership records for land and property in England and Wales.
The property database, created in 1862, offers a government-guaranteed record of information for a registered piece of land or property.
The land registry is a U.K. government department that holds ownership records for land and property in England and Wales. Credit: Annie Spratt
The benefit of registering land is to make the process of buying and selling property and land easier and potentially less costly for both parties, and it can help prevent adverse possession of registered land. In 2016, 88% of the landmass of England and Wales was registered.
HM Land Registry holds scanned copies of the original property title deeds, which are stored digitally. It also holds title plans, which are self-produced maps that record the position of the boundaries of a registered property on an Ordnance Survey map.
HM Land Registry provides official copies of the register of title deeds and plans for a small fee, which are usually required during the sale of a property or plot of land. Property title deeds are paper documents showing the chain of ownership and include conveyances, contracts for sale, wills, mortgages and leases.
HM Land Registry updates the register if there have been changes to the ownership, mortgage or lease once they have been notified by the owner or their solicitor. Sometimes the register needs to be updated before the sale can proceed.
HM Land Registry offers a free-of-charge service to find out how much a property last sold for and can provide paid-for information on the property, including the name of the owner and their address, and a flood risk indicator.
HM Land Registry also publishes public data sets on price paid and transactions, both available monthly, and a U.K. House Price Index, which is updated monthly. They are published on gov.uk.